Tradition Quotes

Quotes tagged as "tradition" (showing 1-30 of 284)
Lemony Snicket
“Just because something is traditional is no reason to do it, of course.”
Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book

Jiddu Krishnamurti
“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”
Jiddu Krishnamurti

G.K. Chesterton
“Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.”
G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy

Jacques Barzun
“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.”
Jacques Barzun

D.H. Lawrence
“It is a fine thing to establish one's own religion in one's heart, not to be dependent on tradition and second-hand ideals. Life will seem to you, later, not a lesser, but a greater thing.”
D.H. Lawrence

Thomas A. Edison
“...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.

When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology.

The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim.

I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study.

...Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now.

[Columbian Magazine interview]”
Thomas A. Edison

Mark Twain
“The less there is to justify a traditional custom, the harder it is to get rid of it”
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

Warren Ellis
“Tradition:' one of those words conservative people use as a shortcut to thinking.”
Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan, Vol. 4: The New Scum

Tom Hiddleston
“It’s in our nature to want to watch our human frailties played out on a huge, epic canvas. Ancient societies had anthropomorphic gods: a huge pantheon expanding into centuries of dynastic drama: fathers and sons, star-crossed lovers, warring brothers, martyred heroes. Tales that taught us the danger of hubris and the primacy of humility. It’s the everyday stuff of everyman’s life, but it’s writ large, and we love it.”
Tom Hiddleston

Letty Cottin Pogrebin
“When men are oppressed, it's a tragedy. When women are oppressed, it's tradition.”
Letty Cottin Pogrebin, Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being Female and Jewish in America

W. Somerset Maugham
“Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.”
W. Somerset Maugham

Amy Tan
“And then it occurs to me. They are frightened. In me, they see their own daughters, just as ignorant, just as unmindful of all the truths and hopes they have brought to America. They see daughters who grow impatient when their mothers talk in Chinese, who think they are stupid when they explain things in fractured English. They see that joy and luck do not mean the same to their daughters, that to these closed American-born minds "joy luck" is not a word, it does not exist. They see daughters who will bear grandchildren born without any connecting hope passed from generation to generation.”
Amy Tan, The Joy Luck Club

Jaroslav Pelikan
“Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living. And, I suppose I should add, it is traditionalism that gives tradition such a bad name.”
Jaroslav Pelikan, The Vindication of Tradition: The 1983 Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities

Gustav Mahler
“Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.”
Gustav Mahler

Friedrich Nietzsche
“To recognize untruth as a condition of life--that certainly means resisting accustomed value feelings in a dangerous way; and a philosophy that risks this would by that token alone place itself beyond good and evil.”
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

T.S. Eliot
“No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone. His significance, his appreciation is the appreciation of his relation to the dead poets and artists. You cannot value him alone; you must set him, for contrast and comparison, among the dead.”
T.S. Eliot, The Sacred Wood

Terry Eagleton
“What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has been to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice, tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or alternative visions of the future. We will not change this simply by increasing state funding of the humanities as opposed to slashing it to nothing. We will change it by insisting that a critical reflection on human values and principles should be central to everything that goes on in universities, not just to the study of Rembrandt or Rimbaud.”
Terry Eagleton

Kate Chopin
“...when I left her to-day, she put her arms around me and felt my shoulder blades, to see if my wings were strong, she said. 'The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings. It is a sad spectacle to see the weaklings bruised, exhausted, fluttering back to earth.' ”
Kate Chopin, The Awakening

Karen Armstrong
“We can either emphasize those aspects of our traditions, religious or secular, that speak of hatred, exclusion, and suspicion or work with those that stress the interdependence and equality of all human beings. The choice is yours. (22)”
Karen Armstrong, Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life

Thich Nhat Hanh
“I always encourage them to practice in a way that will help them go back to their own tradition and get re-rooted. If they succeed at at becoming reintegrated, they will be an important instrument in transforming and renewing their tradition.
When we respect our blood ancestors and our spiritual ancestors, we feel rooted. If we find ways to cherish and develop our spiritual heritage, we will avoid the kind of alienation that is destroying society, and we will become whole again. ... Learning to touch deeply the jewels of our own tradition will allow us to understand and appreciate the values of other traditions, and this will benefit everyone.”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

Matthew Scully
“Sometimes tradition and habit are just that, comfortable excuses to leave things be, even when they are unjust and unworthy. Sometimes--not often, but sometimes--the cranks and radicals turn out to be right. Sometimes Everyone is wrong.”
Matthew Scully, Dominion: The Power of Man, the Suffering of Animals, and the Call to Mercy

Brandon Sanderson
“I love tradition," Dalinar said to Kadash. "I've fought for tradition. I make my men follow the codes. I uphold Vorin virtues. But merely being tradition does not make something worthy, Kadash. We can't just assume that because something is old it is right.”
Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer

Alfred North Whitehead
“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality

John Green
“With a sigh, he grabbed hold of his chair and lifted himself out of it, then wrote on the blackboard: How will we ever get out of this labyrinth of suffering? - A.Y.
'I'm going to leave that up for the rest of the semester,' he said.
'Because everybody who has ever lost their way in life has felt the nagging insistence of that question. At some point we all look up and realize we are lost in a maze, and I don't want us to forget Alaska, and I don't want to forget that even when the material we study seems boring, we're trying to understand how people have answered that question and the questions each of you posed in your papers--how different traditions have come to terms with what Chip, in his final, called 'people's rotten lots in life.”
John Green, Looking for Alaska

Darynda Jones
“And," Amber said, practically drooling as she ogled him, "it's tradition for new arrivals to help with the pep rally."
Brooklyn quirked her lips in doubt. "Tradition?"
"It's a new tradition," Amber shot back.
"Clearly the deeper meaning of the word has escaped you.”
Darynda Jones, Death and the Girl Next Door

Daniel C. Dennett
“Those who feel guilty contemplating "betraying" the tradition they love by acknowledging their disapproval of elements within it should reflect on the fact that the very tradition to which they are so loyal—the "eternal" tradition introduced to them in their youth—is in fact the evolved product of many adjustments firmly but delicately made by earlier lovers of the same tradition.”
Daniel C. Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

G.K. Chesterton
“Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive. It means that it still matters what Penn did two hundred years ago or what Franklin did a hundred years ago; I never could feel in New York that it mattered what anybody did an hour ago.”
G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America

J.R.R. Tolkien
“Touching your cap to the squire may be damn bad for the squire, but it's damn good for you.”
J.R.R. Tolkien

Rabindranath Tagore
“It is not easy to get rid of weeds; but it is easy, by a process of neglect, to ruin your food crops and let them revert to their primitive state of wildness. [...] In political civilization, the state is an abstraction and the relationship of men utilitarian. Because it has no roots in sentiments, it is so dangerously easy to handle. Half a century has been enough for you to master this machine; and there are men among you, whose fondness for it exceeds their love for the living ideals which were born with the birth of your nation and nursed in your centuries. It is like a child who in the excitement of his play imagines he likes his playthings better than his mother.”
Rabindranath Tagore, The English Writings of Rabindranath Tagore, Vol 3: A Miscellany

Hock G. Tjoa
“We believe that a man does not have to be devoted to the winning side for his loyalty to be celebrated with reverence.”
Hock G. Tjoa, The Ingenious Judge Dee

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